Justin Bieber and Others: How Have Celebrities Dealt With Their Health in the Public Eye?

With Regard to Justin Bieber’s Announcement About his Condition, we Analyze Other Cases of Celebrities with an Illness and their Management at the Public Level.

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LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

Leer en español: Justin Bieber y otros: ¿Cómo han lidiado las celebridades con su salud en la luz pública?

Justin Bieber recently announced about the facial paralysis that he suffers due to Ramsay Hunt syndrome, regarding this fact we have reviewed the cases of other celebrities who are fighting or have fought against some serious illness. In addition to fighting the diagnosis, they have had to decide whether to keep it private or make it public due to the speculation and curiosity that it arouses among their followers, these cases are some of the most famous.

Justin Bieber and his fight against diseases

It is not the first time that the Canadian singer has made a health condition public. In 2020, he announced that he had Lyme disease, an infection caused by the bite of certain types of ticks. As a consequence, this disease causes a skin injury that does not cause pain and heals in a few days, but the symptoms can be greater: pain in the joints, neck, headache, stiffness, dizziness and drooping on one side of the face, among others, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Now, in 2022, Bieber announced that he suffers from Ramsay Hunt syndrome, an illness caused by the chickenpox virus that reactivates years after suffering from it, causing rashes, facial paralysis and ear problems that can become permanent without the correct treatment, according to data from the same clinic. In the superstar, paralysis is the most obvious sign of the disease, the singer decided to make his condition public, a situation to which his fans responded with numerous messages of support.

Selena Gomez, the shock of lupus

Selena Gomez announced in 2015 that she has lupus, an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Lupus causes severe inflammation that is compounded by rashes, lesions, pain, kidney damage, etc. The singer of Latin origin had to undergo a kidney transplant in 2017 due to the disease. The American made her illness public because she felt pressured by the rumors of her followers who considered that she was in addiction problems.

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Michael J. Fox and Parkinson’s

The famous protagonist of the “Back to the future” trilogy revealed in 1998 that he suffered from Parkinson’s, a disorder that causes involuntary movements among other symptoms. However, the actor knew about his condition since 1991, during those 7 years he fell into alcoholism and depression until he accepted his illness. After making it public, the American has become an activist for research to combat the disease through the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Although he no longer acts, he continues to participate in some programs, as a voice actor and even with his own series: The Michael J. Fox Show.

Chadwick Boseman, cancer victim

Boseman passed away in 2020 due to complications from cancer, the actor was 43 years old and at the peak of his career. For the whole world, his illness was a secret. The Black Panther interpreter was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, but decided not to make it public, very few people knew about his situation. For this reason, his death was surprising and the reason for this, Boseman continued to work in his different commitments in the film industry while receiving treatment for cancer. He thus left a legacy not only as a superhero, but as an activist for the rights of African Americans.

Robin Williams, the silent disease

One of the most remembered actors for making people laugh, his charisma and apparent happiness contrasted markedly with the deep depression in which he lived. Williams suffered from dementia with Lewy bodies, a neurodegenerative disease similar to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The mental state of Robin Williams was not known until after his death, an apparent suicide, creating a public reflection on the danger of mental and neurodegenerative diseases as silent killers. As in the case of Chadwick Boseman, Robin Williams did not want to speak publicly about his illness, so his death also caused great shock in the world.

Charlie Sheen, victim of blackmail

The protagonist of numerous successes on the small screen and on the big screen publicly admitted in 2015 that he was HIV positive. Sheen denounced that he had been extorted since 2011 by people from his close circle. In an interview for the NBC network, the actor claimed to have paid up to 10 million dollars because of this. So Sheen was practically forced to reveal his HIV-positive status to end the blackmail he was subjected to, only four years was he able to keep it a secret.

Angelina Jolie, one step forward

The famous actress has a genetic background that predisposes her to different types of cancer, so she has gone one step further and has undergone various operations to remove different organs from her body. His mother, grandmother and aunt all passed away due to cancer, so in his attempt to reduce the chances he has performed the surgeries. It was Angelina Jolie herself who revealed it publicly, a fact that prompted reflection on the importance of prevention and monitoring of this disease.

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